Colombo (News 1st): Zahran Hashmi is believed to be the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
Did he actually die in the suicide explosion? This question has grabbed the attention of many.
A letter to several DIGs on April 9th, signed by the IGP noted that a group led by Zahran Hashmi were preparing for multiple suicide bomb attacks in the country.
Before the attacks, this person had made sporadic statements on social media and security forces assume he was one of the two suicide bombers who targetted the Shangri-La Hotel.
He bears similar features to the man in an IS video portraying the alleged suicide bombers who attacked multiple targets on Easter Sunday. Detectives say this cannot be verified until the DNA reports are made available.
Speaking to media secretary of the Lanka Thowheed Jamath Abdul Razik said that there is discussion that Zahran died in the explosion and there are various pictures of it as well.
Razik noted that they do not believe these pictures 100% correct, as the picture that is being published was used in Kaaththankudi when they were protesting against Zahran in 2017. He added that this picture was doctored and used during their protests.
Recently in parliament, it was said that Zahran Hashmi could have been the leader of another organization known as the National Thowheed Jamath.
Chairman of the National Thowheed Jamath Y. M. Thowfeek said that their organization was founded in 2012 by Zahran Maulavi, however, he later went missing during the unrest in Kathankudi in 2017.
Thowfeek noted that after that, Zahran expressed anti-government sentiments through his Facebook page, therefore he was expelled from National Thowheed Jamath and it was made public through the organization’s Facebook page. He added that they have answered all questions posed to them from the TID and the CID.
Security Forces are now being told that a man by the name of Naufer Maulavi is providing leadership to the group which was led by Zahran.
Abdul Razik also revealed that there is another accomplice of Zahran and of a similar calibre, namely, Maulavi Naufer. He added that foreign agencies have reported that he is the one preparing the second wave of attacks.
Razik went onto note that this could be true because Maulavi Zahran had written long articles in support of IS on his facebook page and all the articles he posted on FB was in favour of IS up until August 2018.
He added that the security forces should be very vigilant about this, also Zahran’s brother Seini who maintained connections with IS. Razik said all three are very dangerous.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Yousef Ibrahim who was arrested in Dematagoda is being detained and questioned by security forces. Two of his children were identified as suicide bombers in Sunday’s attacks.
Journalists questioned secretary of the Lanka Thowheed Jamath Abdul Razik on Ibrahim. He noted that Ibrahim is a famous billionaire businessman and an ordinary civilian, but he has changed so much to a point where he involved members of his family to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
Razik said Ibrahim was also given special permission by the Ceylon Electricity Board to use the transmission devices along Avissawella – Wellampitiya road. He added that if the government knew that he was a terrorist they would have not given him permission to do this.
Security forces searched a copper manufacturing factory belonging to Ibrahim’s family and arrested a number of people for questioning.
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